1
$\begingroup$

There are fun and practical applications of soapy solutions for bubble making. An example of a practical one is detection of gas leaks from fittings and unions.

Given various household products, what would have the best combination of wetting agents or surfactants for bubble creation at temperatures above 0C and up to 40C? For example, hand soaps, dish soaps, etc. realizing that many products vary in ingredients and design intent. For example, most laundry detergents are designed to have reduced foaming.

What common household chemicals or products will make effective soap bubble solutions?

Addendum: 1. The following article describes creating soap bubble mixtures: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-best-bubbles/ 2. It mentions the use of glycerin and/or corn-syrup as a thickening agent. "Glycerin and corn syrup form weak bonds with the water molecules and slow down the evaporation process, thus improving the life span and durability of the bubble. Glycerin makes stronger, longer-lasting bubbles, but corn syrup is often substituted in bubble solutions because it is cheaper." (This is consistent with comments for the question.)

A significant remaining question is what detergent product might perform better over others, or what detergent product characteristics might perform better over others. Obviously one without anti-foaming agents.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ More commercial soap less water. For instance at least 2:1 vol using concentrated dish soap. Some add glycerol but I don't know the physical reason in details so just a comment. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista May 13 at 14:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The wiki on glycerol provides little explanation, "Glycerol is added to bubble mixture for blowing soap bubbles. It creates longer-lasting bubbles by thickening the mixture." $\endgroup$ – mongo May 13 at 15:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Glycerol simply lowers the vapor pressure of the water thus slowing evaporation. $\endgroup$ – MaxW May 13 at 16:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.